the first peach blossoms have started, the ice is frazzling, girls are wearing mini-skirts and you can smell the pollen in the air. winter is done. theres still enough ice for a few weeks at least and the snow will keep falling, but many areas are now either buried or dangerous, aside from notable exceptions which are now in their prime.
the alpine rock is till exceptional, fuji finally has bearable temperatures (tho higher winds) and in the lower ranges the alpine snow pack leading to the upper mixed stuff is beginning to open up – spring is by no means the end of cold-condition climbing.
above: looking back at Amidadake and a great winter. new ideas ahead
below: late season ice in Jogazawa. 30m & 60m ice routes with several weeks still left in them
down in the southern islands temps are already good for the Big Canyoning micro-expeditions on Kuchinoerabujima.
we finished off the winter with a few days at Futakuchi in Tohoku, Japans best ice and mixed climbing location – made all the better by almost nobody going there. +180 ice and mixed routes along two low valleys, laid out as if intended for the purpose, the mountain gods even being kind enough to put hot springs at the head of the gorges.
the road to Futakuchi: one of the worlds best kept ice & mixed climbing secrets
recon all sewn up, we will be starting next winter with a series of trips in there to film and train, along with new micro-expeditions with a focus towards winter walls.
big ideas for big guys: Will from The Project trying out a portaledge on ice screws. and you thought regular ‘ledging was freaky…